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Monday, December 29, 2008

Who is Maria Menounos?


Who is Maria Menounos? She is an Greek American actress, journalist, and television presenter known at home for her appearances as a correspondent for The Today Show and Access Hollywood, and abroad for Lal Kostas co-hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, Greece.


Menounos, a Greek American, was born June 8, 1978in Medford, Massachusetts, and is fluent in the Greek language. At age 17, she was an employee of Dunkin' Donuts with aspirations to be something more. Menounos attended the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. In 1995, Menounos began to compete in beauty pageants. The following year, she won the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen USA and competed at Miss Teen USA where she failed to place in the top 10. Menounos did however place in the top 15, receiving an honorary mention, during the preliminary competition; Menounos placed 13th in preliminaries. The pageant was won by Christie Lee Woods. Maria would go on to compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA 2000; she placed as the 1st runner up.


Later Menounos attended Boston's Emerson College where she participated in the now award winning organization, Emerson Independent Video. During her senior year, she was hired as a reporter for Channel One News. Her work for Channel One's 10-minute segments included traveling to El Salvador to report on the earthquake of 2001 and interviewing President George W. Bush.
Entertainment Tonight hired Menounos as a correspondent in 2002, where she reported on movies, music and fashion. ET executives offered her a hosting gig for ET on MTV & VH1; she left the program in 2005 to focus on her acting career, though she would eventually join rival program Access Hollywood later that Fall as a special correspondent. She went on to co-host a few episodes of the Today Show in the late summer and fall of 2006 as well as in April 2007.
In 2003, Menounos appeared on the November 30 episode of Punk'd where she was one of many celebrities caught in the awkward and embarrassing "Red Carpet Interviews".
In the summer of 2005, she appeared in the comic book film Fantastic Four, where she played a nurse who is romanced by the "Human Torch", played by Chris Evans. Her likeness and voice was featured in the 2005 Electronic Arts video game, From Russia with Love as Eva Adara, Red Grant's henchwoman, which stars Sean Connery as James Bond. She is also the spokesperson for Pantene hair products.

Menounos signing autographs at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival in Canada.
Menounos presented the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (along with Greek singer Sakis Rouvas) that took place in Athens.
Menounos is a correspondent for The Today Show as well as Access Hollywood in an overall deal with NBC Universal to act in films and television shows. She also has recurring roles on CBS' Without a Trace and as Jules in the second season of The CW's One Tree Hill (during its run on The WB).
Menounos also appeared on the Scrubs episode "My Extra Mile", which aired in May 2006 where she is attracted to John Dorian because she likes his hair.
In 2006, Menounos appeared in the music video for "A Public Affair" by Jessica Simpson. In April 27, 2007, Maria starred in Kickin' It Old Skool. In 2007, Menounos continued in her run as international spokesperson doing print and television commercials for Pantene hair products as well as print ads for New York & Company.
On December 17 - December 20, 2007, Menounos hosted the reality game show miniseries Clash of the Choirs.
In 2008, she became the host of "Hollywood Green" on the "Planet Green" network. "Maria Menounos brings glamour to green living as the hostess of Hollywood Green. Both as the special correspondent for daily entertainment newsmagazine "Access Hollywood," and on Hollywood Green, Maria provides TV viewers with comprehensive coverage of entertainment and news personalities."
In 2008, she also had a very memorable role in the movie Tropic Thunder.
In 2008, she became the first journalist to interview the entire Obama family as a whole. She is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
In May 2008, played in the AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Huntington Beach Open, but was eliminated in the qualifying round. On July 13, 2008, Menounos starred in the celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium in New York. more

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